Citing personal reasons, veteran pro Kelley Jaye of Dadeville, Ala., has withdrawn from this week’s Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain and announced he will not fish the remainder of the Bassmaster Elite Series season.
A statement released by Jaye read as follows:
“First, I would like to thank B.A.S.S. and my fellow anglers for the support these last few weeks. With that being said, unfortunately I will not be competing for the remainder of the 2020 season. Personal family issues, which will require my full undivided attention over the next few months, will prohibit me from traveling and competing. To my sponsors, family, friends and fans, thank you for your support. Tight lines. God bless.”
The season started on a promising note for Jaye in February, as he led the opening round of a weather-shortened tournament on Florida’s St. Johns River before eventually notching a strong third-place finish. Then a series of events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, paused the season until the June event on Alabama’s Lake Eufaula.
Jaye practiced for that tournament, which took place a little more than an hour from his home, and actually fished the first day. But he then withdrew, citing personal reasons.
He fished last week’s event on the St. Lawrence River, finishing 52nd. But he made the decision Tuesday to drive back home to Alabama and forego the rest of the season.
Jaye’s withdrawal cuts the original 88-angler field on the Elite Series to 85. Mark Menendez and Yusuke Miyazaki had previously withdrawn.
Jaye was originally listed as a choice on Rapala Fantasy Fishing for this week’s tournament on Lake Champlain and had been selected by numerous fans. Those fans are now advised to choose another angler.
All Champlain Fantasy Fishing rosters must be finalized before Thursday’s Day 1 takeoff at 6:45 a.m. ET.